Fantômas is the main character in a French series of detective novels that the author duo Pierre Souvestre and Marcel Allain published between February 1911 and September 1913 at Arthème Fayard every month with 400 pages each. After Souvestre's death in 1914, Allain wrote fourteen more Fantômas adventures as a solo author between 1926 and 1963.
History of origin
The novels, which were written based on the division of labor, were spoken simultaneously, chapter by chapter, in separate rooms on phonograph cylinders and later evaluated by two groups of stenographers . This was the only way to manage the workload of one book per month. In preliminary talks, Souvestre and Allain drew a lot for the chapters to be created and agreed on follow-up formulations between the different work packages, because the authors, who were paid by the line, lacked the time for proofreading and for corrections .
The Fantômas character is a ruthless and at the same time ingenious villain. His crimes are characterized by brutality and ingenuity. For example, he fills perfume bottles with sulfuric acid in a department store in Paris, releases plague-infested rats on a passenger ship or forces a victim to see his own execution by strapping him face up in a guillotine . This 'master of crime' is fascinating because of its contradiction to the current social order:
“Fantômas is the black man who sums up all the fears of the citizens, but also has a fascination that is very diffuse: from the black flag of the anarchists to the black shirt of the fascists. Part of the fascination of Fantômas lies in the appearance of a radically different view of capitalist reality. What is breaking into a bank versus founding a bank? And what is a little anarcho criminal against state mass murder? All the consumer terrorists and economic fascists who want to persuade us to live a positive and consensual way of life are not friends of our freedom. Because freedom essentially also means saying no, being different and insisting on self-determination. For many intellectuals, Fantômas was therefore the premonition of a freedom without relativization, without practical constraints, without the state. "
It was precisely the fact that the figure could also be interpreted as a prototype of fascism that cooled the Fantômas enthusiasm in the European avant-garde movements in the late thirties and forties and was partly responsible for the later popular film adaptations with Louis de Funès and Jean Marais were largely depoliticized.
List of Fantômas novels
|2||Juve contre Fantômas||1911|
|3||Le Mort qui Tue||1911|
|5||Un Roi Prisonnier de Fantômas||1911|
|6th||Le Policier Apache||1911|
|7th||Le Pendu de Londres||1911|
|8th||La Fille de Fantômas||1911|
|9||Le Fiacre de Nuit||1911|
|10||La Main Coupée||1911|
|11||L'Arrestation de Fantômas||1912|
|12||Le Magistrate Cambrioleur||1912|
|13||La Livrée du Crime||1912|
|14th||La Mort de Juve||1912|
|15th||L'Evadée de Saint-Lazare||1912|
|16||La Disparition de Fandor||1912|
|17th||Le Mariage de Fantômas||1912|
|18th||L'Assassin de Lady Beltham||1912|
|19th||La Guêpe Rouge||1912|
|20th||Les Souliers du Mort||1912|
|21st||Le Train Perdu||1912|
|22nd||Les Amours d'un Prince||1912|
|23||Le Bouquet Tragique||1912|
|24||Le Jockey Masqué||1913|
|25th||Le Cercueil Vide||1913|
|26th||Le Faiseur de Reines||1913|
|27||Le Cadavre Géant||1913|
|28||Le Voleur d'Or||1913|
|29||La Série Rouge||1913|
|30th||L'Hôtel du Crime||1913|
|31||La Cravate de Chanvre||1913|
|32||La Fin de Fantômas||1913|
|33||Fantômas est-il ressuscité?||1925|
|34||Fantômas, Roi des Recéleurs||1926|
|35||Fantômas en Danger||1926|
|36||Fantômas prend sa revenge||1926|
|37||Fantômas Attaque Fandor||1926|
|38||Si c'était Fantômas?||1933|
|39||Oui, c'est Fantômas!||1934|
|40||Fantômas Joue et Gagne||1935|
|41||Fantômas Rencontre l'Amour||1946|
|42||Fantômas Vole des Blondes||1948|
|43||Fantômas Mène le Bal||1963|
The series of novels served as a template for numerous film adaptations. The five-part Fantômas film series by Louis Feuillade with René Navarre in the title role was one of the greatest film successes of its time.
The three Fantômas films directed by André Hunebelle in the 1960s with Jean Marais in the dual role of Fantômas and as reporter Jérôme Fandor , Louis de Funès as Commissioner Paul Juve and Mylène Demongeot as reporter Hélène were also very popular. However, these film adaptations have little to do with the novels by Souvestre and Allain.
In 1980 the directors Juan Luis Buñuel (the son of Luis Buñuel ) and Claude Chabrol shot a four-part mini-series with the participation of ZDF , with Helmut Berger as Fantômas , Jacques Dufilho as Inspector Juve and Pierre Malet as journalist Jérôme Fandor , who again held closer to the novel.
- 1913: Fantômas - À l'ombre de la guillotine.
- 1913: Juve contre Fantômas.
- 1913: Le mort qui tue.
- 1914: Fantômas contre Fantômas.
- 1914: Le faux magistrat.
- 1920: Fantomas. Twenty-part US series.
- 1932: Fantômas.
- 1947: Fantômas.
- 1949: Fantômas contre Fantômas.
- 1964: Fantômas .
- 1965: Fantomas versus Interpol ( Fantômas se déchaîne ).
- 1967: Fantomas threatens the world ( Fantômas contre Scotland Yard ).
- 1980: Fantômas , French-German television four-part.
In the Czech television production Die Märchenbraut , Fantômas (portrayed in the style of the Louis de Funès films with a blue mask) appears as the ruler of the fairytale world of adults. However, he is not a crook here, but helps the protagonists. In the sequel The Return of the Fairytale Bride , Fantômas also appears as a helper.
Fantômas also makes an appearance in the German / Czech series Luzie, the horror of the street , created by the same production team : While a Fantômas film is running on television (except for a person in a mask and top hat , various "Fantômas" calls and the screams of a woman one can hardly deduce a plot or cast), the clay figures Friederich and Friederich get a look at the television set by drilling a hole through the wall. Then the orange Friederich with mask and hat also transforms into Fantômas and the green finally into Batman .
- Thomas Brandlmeier: Fantomas - Contributions to the panic of the 20th century. Verbrecher Verlag, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-935843-72-0 .
Fantômas in general:
- Fantomas Lives , extensive cultural and historical information on the subject of Fantomas , contents of all novels and films
- Fantômas in novels and comics (English)
- Hans Schmid: Master of horror. Fantômas, a myth of the 20th century. . On: Telepolis , February 26, 2012. Last seen on February 27, 2012.
On the silent film series by Louis Feuillade :
- Jonathan Rosenbaum: The Lure of Crime: Feuillade's FANTOMAS Films . Last seen on December 11, 2013.
- Fantômas - The cruel genius. (France 2008) See: arte TV program ( Memento of the original from October 30, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Thomas Brandlmeier: Fantomas - Contributions to the panic of the 20th century. Verbrecher Verlag, Berlin 2007, p. 3.
- Patrice Gauthier, Francis Lacassin: Louis Feuillade. Maître du cinéma popular. Gallimard, Paris 2006, p. 63.
- Phantomas in the German Early Cinema Database.